Many people want to acquire new knowledge and have experiences that go beyond the conventional when they take a cruise – themed cruises are growing substantially in all shipping companies.
It is no longer enough to sail from port to port, recline in a deckchair, choose from the range of ordinary excursions to the destination’s highlights and otherwise indulge in the services on-board the ship. Increasing numbers of cruise customers are looking for a cruise with an active content, which specifically caters for their interests or needs. It is therefore essential that the shipping companies develop themed cruises which can meet the demand.
There are enough to choose from. Themes concerning wine, with excursions to the relevant wine regions, or cooking with famous chefs, are the most popular, but you can choose between such varied themes as antiques, dancing, bridge, sports, history, nature, music, politics and religion, Christmas, Disney, golf, workout and wellness. The theme often determines the destination, e.g. a wine region in Spain, the natural environment in Alaska or Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco.
”Time is becoming increasingly important for us as customers and consumers, and a cruise should consequently also get things spot on with precisely the offers that a sufficiently large customer segment wants. It is absolutely clear that themed cruises are an important and growing market for the shipping companies, and there is an ever expanding range,” says Arnt Møller Pedersen, COO Cruise & Ferries, CMP.
”It is a trend that all the shipowning businesses are getting to grips with, and we can also see it in CMP, with the Christmas cruises arriving in December on tours of the Christmas markets in Hamburg, Lübeck, Göteborg, Copenhagen and Oslo.”
Themed cruises can also be planned by interest groups or organisations, which make advance reservations for a number of cabins and facilities on the ship, planning the content of the theme and subsequently selling tickets to their members.
A Japanese initiative will shortly be adding to the concept of themed cruises with the ship ”Mira 1”, which, after being converted, will be a Ryoyo Kyakusen ship, i.e. a health ship, where the elderly and people with illnesses can take a cruise and receive treatment en route, for example, dialysis. The ship will have a large staff of doctors and nurses, and will also be able to function as a rescue vessel in major disasters. However, the ship’s operations are dependent on the Japanese authorities approving the project.